SPRINGFIELD June 14 was the date the United States adopted its flag back in 1777.
Flag Day is a somewhat low key celebration and even some die hard patriots and flag lovers including Springfield resident Dale Ball aren t aware of it.
The Korean War veteran spent Friday morning sitting and dozing on his front porch with the flag behind him. The flag has hung there every day for seven years. Although he has a new flag in the garage that he plans to exchange with the aged and weathered one out front he said he won t just toss out the old one.
For Ball the flag stands for freedom.
Trouble with Flag Day is not enough people realize what that (flag) stands for Ball said. To a lot of people that don t mean nothing.
Ball joined the U.S. Marines while still in high school and then went into active duty in June 1950 during the Korean War.
That s not to say he doesn t harbor criticism for the recent U.S. military involvement overseas.
A lot of people died for no reason because of that flag Ball said. We should have never lost anyone overseas Afghanistan and places like that.
Ball has lived in Springfield all his life and has been in his current home since 1961 back when his street was a dirt road and the property next door that now houses Jerry s Home Improvement Center was an air strip.
The flag initially represented valor purity and justice but Ball said he thinks that many people have forgotten that.
That s something the National Flag Day Foundation wants to change. Among its main objectives are having a flag in every classroom fostering respect for the flag and teaching the next generation of leaders the history of the flag.